Hello I have big ambiguity in using this word: UNTIL. Does it include the thing after word UNTIL or it means that thing is not included?

Here are two examples:


The TV Show was good until 3rd serie. - Does it mean 3rd serie was the last good serie or the last good serie was 2nd and 3rd was already bad?


There were no problems until the 5th car/customer. - Does it mean 5th car/customer was already problematic? Or that 5th car/customer was OKAY but after 5th there were problems?

I hope you can see my problem, in this. If I should not use word UNTIL what should I use to be more clear? Can somebody give me proper answer? Thank you.


2 Answers 2


Usually it means that thing is not included. For example if I say "I have work until 5" it means I work until it is 5:00, and then I stop working at 5:00. I do not work the 5:00 hour.


In most contexts, until X would be understood as meaning up to, but not including, X (alternatively, until X starts, not until X finishes), so in #A above the speaker probably didn't think Series 3 was any good, and in #B the 5th car probably was problematic. But as you imply, there is the potential for ambiguity - for example, given the assertion He's at work until Friday, not everyone would agree on whether this implied he either would or wouldn't be at work on Friday.

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